Custody Preparation for Moms

A support site provided by those that have been through the process.
   

 

 


What can you do to effect change?

How Can you Help Fight Rampant Gender Bias & Court Corruption?

Here are some suggestions gleaned from the activities of other advocates across the country.  Take what works for you.

1. Go to your U.S. senator and congressman. Ask them to write a letter
asking the Inspector General to investigate the federal funding from Health & Human Services (HHS) to the State Courts. The funds in question are grants for Fatherhood programs,misuse of TANF funds being pushed into "responsible fatherhood programs", access to visitation grants, cutting of domestic violence funding for women and children. TANF is newly deregulated welfare money. Your U.S. Senators and Reps can not assist with individual cases.  You must address the bigger picture--state and federal funding misuses.

2. Go to your state legislature and ask you local senators/representatives to do the same and have them sign on to letter so that there are multiple signatures. The letter should be directed to the U.S. Senators and Reps. Ask for investigation into the funding to your local courts or Responsible Fatherhood programs  in your state.

3. Encourage the women in your area who have been harmed to file license board, bar association, etc. complaints on all that have committed malpractice and ethics violations. En masse is more effective. GALs (guardian ad litems), custody investigators, special masters, psychologists, therapists, licensed clinical social workers, etc. who are intentionally or incompetently harming families and children will not be deterred unless an oversight agency takes action. Unfortunately, those that are court-appointed likely have quasi-judicial immunity, meaning they have no civil liability-THEY CAN'T BE SUED.

4. File Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIAs) with your state court system in regards to the Access to Visitation Grants and other grants coming into the family court system. See the samples following later in this website. Use this information to show your legislators in linking the misuse of federal grant moneys. Request information on all parties to your case including your own attorney. You are looking for how these folks may or may not be receiving federal/state funds, how much and what for--relates to conflicts of interest.

5. Network with and educate your local domestic violence advocates or shelters and other women's groups on how victims are losing custody to abusers.

6. Provide literature to legislators, domestic violence shelters and advocates, court personnel, family law attorneys, evaluators, mental health professionals, child advocates, reporters.

7. Seek out other women--solicit by posting an ad (can be anonymous--response to an anonymous e-mail address of P.O. Box), requesting input. There is strength in numbers. You may be interested in picketing court houses, doing letter-writing campaigns, court watches, court support networks, etc. or simply sharing stories so as to alert each other to useful information.

8. File judicial complaints in regard to violations of due process, blatant gender bias, racial discrimination, etc.--Use extreme caution here-particularly if your case is open. This is not advised unless the judiciary has already taken everything from you that you hold dear. Retribution is not unheard of.

9. Become politically active-Find a legislator in the majority party in your state to advance legislation for you.

Examples of bad legislation that needs changed for women and children: friendly
parenting statutes, rebuttable presumptions for joint legal or joint physical (shared) custody, move-away restrictions, any legislation recognizing Parental Alienation Syndrome or Parental Alienation…

Examples of good legislation for women and children: rebuttable presumptions against
joint legal or physical (shared) custody for domestic violence perpetrators, well thought- out best interests of the child standards, primary caretaker presumptions,
approximation standards (the judge should try to approximate the same setup for
the children that existed before the divorce), mandatory licensing for GALs, child
custody evaluators/investigators, elimination of special master roles, restrictions
on mediation, family counseling/co-parenting counseling for victims of domestic
violence, mandates requiring prompt judicial decisions in child custody matters, mandatory continuing education on domestic violence, child abuse, child development for court personnel, mandatory adherence to APA Child Custody Evaluation Guidelines for those performing any sort of child custody evaluation...    

10.  Write a newsletter on the topic

11.  Speak out--write letters to the editor, testify before the legislature on related issues, offer your services to interested groups to speak on the issue, be alert to meetings of groups that affect the court system, child advocacy, child protection, etc.

13.  Above all, VOTE.


On a humorous note--remember:

1 mom = a fruitcake

2  moms = a fruitcake and a friend

3  moms = trouble makers 

10 moms = Let's have a meeting

25 moms = We'd better at least listen to them

50 moms = Our dear friends

100 moms = A powerful organization

 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 

Margaret Mead (1901 - 1978) US anthropologist

“Each time a man (or a woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he (she) sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

Robert Kennedy



 

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